- Associated Press - Monday, May 12, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Federal prosecutors have charged an 18-year-old Minnesota man with sexually assaulting a drunken 17-year-old girl on a U.S. military base in Japan and recording the attack on cellphone video while other schoolmates watched.

Ricky Sherwood, of White Bear Lake, was charged last week in federal court in St. Paul with sexual abuse and producing and possessing child pornography. He faces at least a year in prison if convicted, the Star Tribune reported (https://strib.mn/1iH2edx ).

Sherwood is a student and part-time lifeguard on Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa. He lives there with his uncle, a Marine staff sergeant who is his legal guardian, according to the criminal complaint. Sherwood was born in Minnesota and his mother now lives in Mexico.

According to prosecutors, Sherwood, the girl and other male classmates left school on Feb. 11 and went to Sherwood’s uncle’s house, where Sherwood plied the girl with alcohol. She drank two cups of alcohol and remembered nothing after that until she was being treated by emergency responders in a park that evening.

Investigators who watched the video said the girl had her eyes closed and didn’t move during the attack, and one of the male schoolmates in the room can be heard saying, “She looks like she’s gonna die,” according to the complaint. Students who were there told investigators that afterward, the girl was so drunk that she was “unable to stand, walk or dress herself.”

Authorities say the girl was carried to a car and that two school counselors spotted her later that evening in a park with several male schoolmates. She appeared intoxicated and went from there to a hospital, where her blood alcohol content was found to be 0.208 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit for driving in Minnesota of 0.08 percent.

Sherwood was arrested Wednesday at the base and made an initial appearance via telephone before Magistrate Judge Tony Leung, who ordered Sherwood transferred from Japan to the U.S.

Online court records do not list a defense attorney for Sherwood.

The U.S. has jurisdiction in this case because Sherwood is a base employee and accompanying a member of the armed forces overseas.


Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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